Correspondence 3

The basic message: 

The most simple and the most obvious.

The natural oneness.

One, without a second.

Balanced and wide open.

This immediacy of knowing.

Knowing is the only thing that is happening.

Non-conceptual knowing. It is unchanging, always that.

You Are That!


Questions from Chris: Gilbert, you got time for some non-duality talk?

G: Yes.
Chris: Awareness, I see this word stressed frequently amongst teachers, but depending on the teacher it gets used in a different context. Are we awareness and what is that? Is awareness something that we are or is it a pointer? I am still a little hazy here.

G: The activity of knowing is called awareness, wakefulness and ‘you’ cannot separate anything from that because it is one, without a second  – not even one because one implies two – just this immediacy and nothing else.  

(Added note: Another word for it is ‘cognition’.  The mind takes ‘time’ to conceive of clusters of concepts – the naked cognition is not ‘in time’, not measurable in ‘time’ because it is not limited by anything.  It is not ‘made’ of elements interacting.)

Chris: Do we not even need the word awareness, just knowing that everything is THAT?

G: Who needs it?  A label is never what it describes.  

Chris: Goddamn, this is beginning to sound like a Nisargadatta book. I have no idea who needs it, apparently, from what I have read, there is some false self which is the source of all our problems.

G: Can you find the false self?  You can’t even find a true self.  The mind divides the natural oneness and creates a fictional problem, where no actual problem exist in reality.

Chris: That’s the problem, I have tried and tried, but I can’t find it – but apparently this is the culprit.

G: So, if you can’t find it, why talk about it?  What can you say about it, in truth, if you can’t find it?  All conversations about it, as if it is real, rely on belief (in a me) and a belief is never the actual.

Chris: There’s a sense that something is out of place and I can’t put my finger on it. For example, I don’t know how I am able to move my fingers, but I can. When I read Wei Wu Wei with him speaking about this false self being, the cause of our problems, it seemed to make sense on an instinctual level. I guess I feel that if I can see through it things will become clear. Everyone seems to be talking about this false self.

G: The finger moves – there is no entity that moves it. So what is trying to put its ‘finger’ on what? 

Chris: I have no idea. 

G: Well, find out.

Chris: You can’t though!

G: Who can’t?

Chris: I don’t know!

G: So, you don’t know. How do you know that you don’t know?

Chris: I have no idea how I don’t know.

G: Knowing is the only thing that is happening. The imagined ‘you’ is nothing but belief in a concept.  That ‘me’ can’t know anything.  It only appears to be the knowing but it is just belief.  Belief is the culprit.  A belief can disappear as it ‘faces’ reality – However, awareness never disappears.  Awareness never appears or disappears, except as a display of so-called phenomena – and all phenomena is appearance only.

Chris: Who is this you (me)?

G: The believed in entity – it is a thought or memory of an ‘old thought’ with images attached.  It is ‘the me of memory’.  In the immediacy of knowing, there is no me.

Chris: So there is a false self? – but it’s just a thought I have come to believe in?

G: It is named as false because it does not exist but who is this ‘I’ that has apparently come to believe in it, or believe in anything?

Chris: I say ‘I’ and it feels like a reference point of sorts, that’s the best I can come up with.

G: Where are you SEEING from? 

Chris: I’m not sure about that either.

G: Seeing is happening, so, with a clear intent, have a look – see for yourself.  The mind (time) will never get this (timeless).  The mind is just a series of ever changing subtle patterns.  How can mind content capture anything except more mind content?  It can’t even do that.  It is all energy appearing as subtle patterns in the naked seeing.  Non conceptual awareness is the great perfection – it is overlooked due to belief in a self-centre.

Chris: When you speak of seeing, are you referring to the awareness in which everything is contained but it itself cannot be perceived?

G: Yes – it is sometimes referred to as ‘space-like awareness’ – it has no center.  Awareness, seeing, knowing are all aspects of the same non thing.

Chris: I’ve heard people say that, that is me – but how could you ever recognize that as yourself?

G: You can’t. There is only one seeing happening. Every recognition spontaneously happens and is nothing other than this immediate non conceptual knowing. No separation – It is unchanging, always that – at all so-called ‘times’. Un-deviating, un-mediated, presence-awareness.
Who can or can’t grasp this?  There is no one that can. There is no one that can’t.

You Are That!

Chris: That’s true, no one could grasp that which is perceiving. How does one then make the assumption that it must be me then?

G: As Nisargadatta says: “You try to grasp it with a concept and you fail….and you are bound to fail…”etc.
It is not me. ‘Me’ is a label that is put upon it.  You can call it God, or call it Awareness or Consciousness or you can even call it ‘me’.  The Label, no matter how grand it is, is NOT the thing.   If there is a me, it has to be the totality, one without a second.  The problem with me is it implies a ‘not me’.  Seeing that the me and the not me are the same ‘thing’ they cancel each other out.  That is sometimes called ‘self-realization’.
It may seem too much for the intellect to cope with but no label is ever the thing that the label refers to.

Chris: I’ve heard that this realization is embarrassing-ly obvious, but at the same time I hear of things such as maya, space and time not existing, no freewill, and all those concepts do not make this feel like a simple deal.
Is it really simple and obvious?

G: It is the most simple and the most obvious – that is why everyone misses it.   There is no centre to space and no circumference. It is the same with Awareness. Self centeredness is belief in a centre where there isn’t one.  That is why the ancients called it ‘space-like awareness’. You cannot separate awareness from space. In fact you cannot separate anything from anything else – it is all the same ‘substance’, without having any substance.


  1. The SEEING that is spoken of is not limited to the eyes. In ancient times the term ‘the third eye’ was more common. Seeing through the third eye is seeing from the whole…..all the senses, balanced and wide open. In other words, the thinking apsect is in relative harmony with all the other senses. The fixation on ‘me’ is what unbalances the other functions. Selfishness is a word for the thinking taking preference over the innate wisdom. Because there is no center, the activity appears to swirl around a fictional character (me) and it is totally vulnerable to any influence. If someone insults you, the turbulence can hang around for days…..all because of belief in something that has no substance actual in reality.

  2. Love this post!
    “Selfishness is a word for the thinking taking preference over the innate wisdom.”
    Absolutely! Without a doubt!
    Thanks, G.